The plodding Russian advance on the ground came while Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by intense shelling as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring nation entered its sixth day, reports CBS News
Huge Russian convoy nears Ukraine’s capital
Satellite images showed a 40-mile-long Russian military convoy approaching Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv on Tuesday. The plodding Russian advance on the ground came while Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was hit by intense shelling as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring nation entered its sixth day. The U.N. human rights office said Tuesday that at least 136 civilians had been killed by Russia’s assault, including 13 children.
Talks between Ukrainian and Russian representatives lasted several hours Monday and both sides agreed to meet again in the coming days. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address late Monday that he believed Russia’s continued shelling was meant to extract concessions from his country, but it wouldn’t work.
More and more countries and companies worldwide taking steps to punish Moscow for the invasion. They left Russia’s currency, the ruble, plunging to a value of less than a penny.
Perhaps feeling the pressure of Russia being targeted by increasing international scorn and his troops’ advance being slowed by fierce resistance from Ukrainian fighters, President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert on Sunday.
Ukraine’s Zelensky asks EU to “prove you are with us”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an impassioned video address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, asking for Ukraine to be treated as an equal member of Europe.
“We are fighting for our rights, for our freedoms, for life. And now we are fighting for survival. This is the highest of our motivation, but we are fighting also to be equal members of Europe,” Zelensky said. “We have proven our strength. We have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you are, so do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you indeed are Europeans. And then, life will win over death, and light will win over darkness.”
Zelensky said Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, had suffered two large missile attacks on Tuesday, including one that hit its central Freedom Square.
“This morning was a very tragic one for us… two cruise missiles hit Kharkiv,” he said, referring to a Russian attack on the country’s second most populous city. Kharkiv, only about 25 miles from the Russian border, has been hammered by Russian artillery for at least a day. Emergency services said at least 10 people were killed in the city on Tuesday and many more injured.
“This is the largest square in Europe, called Freedom Square,” Zelensky said. “Can you imagine? This morning, two missiles hit this Freedom square. Dozens killed. This is the price of freedom.”
Charles Michel, president of the EU’s governing political council, said European Union institutions and governments would have to look seriously at Ukraine’s “symbolic, political, and legitimate” request for membership in the bloc, though he said there was no unity on the issue.
“It is going to be difficult,” Michel said. “We know there are different views in Europe.”
Ukrainian mom recounts “horror” of frantic escape
“It’s like horror. I never imagine I have five minutes – I must take all my cases and run, run from Kyiv,” Victoria Hurtova, who left Kyiv with her 9-month old baby, told CBS Miami this week about her harrowing escape from Ukraine.
Now safe in Florida, Hurtova said she and her husband Dennis decided to make a run for it with his 9-year-old twins, Matthew and Mark, and baby Anna after their home in Ukraine’s capital was hit by shelling.
“It’s really biggest joy that can happen,” Tania Adolf, Victoria’s mother, told CBS Miami.
The young family’s last days in Ukraine were tense, and she documented their escape on her iPhone.
U.K. says it’s first nation to ban “ALL ships with ANY Russian connection whatsoever”
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Tuesday that he United Kingdom had “just become the first nation to pass a law involving a total BAN of ALL ships with ANY Russian connection whatsoever from entering British ports.”
The U.K. government has been proactive for weeks in sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, joining the U.S. and European Union nations in blocking access by a number of Russian banks to the international SWIFT transfer system, and cracking down on the U.K. assets of Russian oligarchs.
In his tweet on Tuesday, Shapps urged “all countries to do the same in support of the people of Ukraine.”
Speaking later on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the British ports ban on all vessels linked to Russia would take effect within hours.
U.N. says “about 1 million” displaced from homes inside Ukraine by Russian invasion
The United Nation’s refugee agency said on Tuesday an estimated one million people had been displaced inside Ukraine by the Russian invasion, in addition to hundreds of thousands who have fled abroad.
“We still don’t have reliable figures regarding the number of people displaced inside Ukraine but we estimate that it has to be about one million people who have fled internally or who are currently on a train, a bus or in a car trying to get to a safety,” Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR representative to Ukraine, told a press conference in Stockholm.
Ukrainian envoy says Russia has used cluster and vacuum bombs
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, along with rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have accused Russia of using cluster bombs and vacuum bombs in its attack on Ukraine.
Both types of weapons are widely condemned by international organizations, and a number of countries — though not Russia or the U.S. — have signed a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs. Thermobaric or vacuum bombs are prohibited by the Geneva Convention, of which Russia is a signatory.
Cluster bombs explode and release smaller bombs or bomblets that can wreak havoc if used in areas with civilians present. Vacuum bombs suck in oxygen to create a high-temperature explosion with a larger shockwave than traditional bombs and are capable of vaporizing human bodies.
“They used a vacuum bomb today,” Ambassador Oksana Markarova said Monday. Videos posted online show a purported detonation of one of the weapons, but U.S. officials have not confirmed their use in Ukraine yet and CBS News cannot independently verify the claims.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 1, 2022
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said if the reports “were true, it would potentially be a war crime.”
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted on Tuesday that “the Russian troops don’t conduct any strikes against civilian infrastructure and residential areas,” and he rejected the accusations of cluster or vacuum munitions as fabrications.
CBS News has witnessed first hand significant damage to civilian housing and other non-military infrastructure from Russia’s artillery barrage in major Ukrainian cities.
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Source: CBS News